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Is it good or bad management?
at 13:17 29 Nov 2019

I note that Ralph has made some comments in the media related to Obafemi, which could be interpreted in a number of ways (as they are unclear) and could be positive or negative, but the risk is, that by the player and wider they may be seen as the latter.

He may or may not be justified in his comments and he should know better than us, but as a manager myself of 55 persons, I have always questioned the wisdom of making comments public when related to an individual member of your team, particularly, if it can be seen as criticism. I think some football managers are prone to do this because they feel some obligation to say something and also to give the outward appearance of being "no nonsense" style managers. The risk is, it can backfire badly and not just with the individual in which you are aiming your comments.

It is not the first time Ralph has done this and I have not been sure of the approach in the past, where he has made his feelings of individuals public. Now, if a players has dissed the club or the manager publicly then, it is a different matter and the manager and the club PR may feel necessary to respond.

I am not suggesting that footballers are shrinking violets and should not be criticised and be pulled up for any performance deficiencies, but I do think there is a time to keep counsel and a time to be more open. I am not convinced Ralph has always got that balance right.

Just a personal opinion - I am sure there are many on here that would disagree with my view.
Emotion, passionate, fun, joy, agony
at 13:29 24 Nov 2019

Yesterday, all that was thrown in and reminded me, that is the reason I love football and why, by and large, I support the Saints.

The support by the fans - fantastic throughout. In fact, away from home at least, there is a sense of comaraderie and a coming together in the face of adversity. You sense that the ones that attend away games are the hard core, heart and soul of support. Whether in the PL or several divisions below, we'll be there. Few of us went expecting anything other than a wacking defeat, what we got and what we saw was a team who looked like they had been released from the toxicity, pain and disharmony of St Marys.

The draw felt like a defeat, but, I really could not complain. I saw goals, I saw determination, I saw attack, I saw pressing, I saw grit and yes, we saw the obligatory errors and if we are going down, then at least, lets go down playing like that.

The defence come in for weekly criticism, so for once, I am going to say, that this week we did not win because we only scored one goal from open play when we had 21 shots on goal! Quite why Cedric did not roll that ball along to be tapped in, only he will know (if you saw the Wolves game on MOTD you will see they had a similar situation and they scored from it). How little would that last gasp equaliser would have mattered had we converted more chances, which were gilt edged and had we not time wasted. When Bertrand was taking his time to take a throw when he was in our half and then got a booking, that would have saved a minute. True it is easy to say these things in hindsight, when equally have we have talked about game management and protecting what you have. You just knew though, we all knew, that when Djenepo missed that chance, Arsenal were going to equalise and so the script was written. I doubt, even with a stronger squad, we will have had a better chance to have beaten Arsenal in their own ground.

With that spirit and pressing and attacking sense we should really get something out of our next 2 games. I do fear though, that all that is going on at St Marys is playing on the minds of the players and the manager and when they are away, they feel released from the achilles that is being at home. Go out Saints and play like you did yesterday and try and forget the failings of our board and owner and do it for the fans, and we will respond.

But, and it is a big BUT, I really enjoyed the game, the football, the support and the afternoon and at the end of the day, having travelled down from York, it actually felt like money well spent, and I have not been able to say that too often recently.

Another week passes of.......
at 22:51 14 Nov 2019

inaction by the owners of the club.

Yes, Nick can write articles about the nasty fans and how the owner cannot be blamed for anything. But, following the debacle against Leicester City the luke warm iterations that came out about potential suitors for the DoF position and a shake up at coaching level etc have gone as cold as a bad crime thriller. But, to date, unless I have slept and missed it, we are today the same place we were a week ago and a week before that. I am not sure what rates as urgent in the boardroom of Saints but clearly they do not see the clubs demise as urgent.

The owners/board think we are stupid, that a little time has now passed since that horror of a result and the performance against Everton and that we will have put it aside, moved on, even forgotten about it.

There cannot be any doubt that these delays to fill and recruit for these posts is all part of a method to reduce the salary bill, keep costs down and see if we can get by. I am not close enough to know whether the club is in a serious financial situation, but they are acting as if they are - trying to survive on a shoestring.

The owner of this site often questions the commitment of the fans, but where is the real commitment of the owners to sort out the issues and Ralph may well ask, where is their commitment to help support him? Words are cheap, actions count. The silence from the owners and the board has been deafening and I have to say, the local media has been little better with lame articles and very little substance. We don't know what the owner or board real intentions are, or what they intend to do and even more importantly when, because they say nothing. They hide away, keep low and they seem detached and far removed from the club and out of arms length to facing the music.

[Post edited 14 Nov 23:12]
Alot of work for the board to do in this mini-break
at 20:05 10 Nov 2019

Though I think relegation is all but a formality, the board need to work hard to remedy some of the issues during this mini-break. No more rumours about Saints being interested in this person or that person. The DoF, Ralph's right hand man (assuming Ralph is staying), Raidi's replacement all need to be resolved before our next home game. It may not change the outcome of that game or the season but if the Board don't know now or don't get it now, then they never will - they need to act and act positively and with vigour. No more hesitation, dithering, etc, etc, just get a grip and sort it out and if you aren't, then get out.

No team should be going through the pain of sorting out off field issues, coaching staff etc once a season has started, it should all have been in place before the start of it. I think the lack of action and people leaving in the midst of a season and games has had such a negative impact on our manager and the team.
No idea where we go from here
at 22:03 9 Nov 2019

Marcus Liebherr and Nicola Cortese built us back up and gave us hope. His daughter and Gao taketh away.

I am completely at a loss at what we are going to do or how we get out of this mess as I now believe it is in every sinew of the club's being. Rotten to the core, on and off the field. I saw nothing today (except for may be a few minutes in the 2nd half) that the players really wanted to put right the wrongs of the previous home game. Ralph looks beaten and seems bereft of ideas to be able to turn it around. We can change the manager but if we do, what will it really change? How many managers and coaches can we go through?

There are a ton of questions as to why we are in this situation and yet those in charge are so far away and so unwilling to be available to answer them and even less so, prepared to do anything to do the right thing. Daily Echo, if you truly want to represent us, then you need shout loud and really get into the minds and the being of those that are supposedly in charge of our club. They cannot be allowed to hide.

I am not sure I can really bring myself to go to another game whilst this mess continues.
It says something.............
at 22:46 29 Oct 2019

and shows how far we and my expectations have fallen, when I feel mildly satisfied with a 3-1 defeat.

I feel a 5-1 defeat at the weekend is on the cards though.
What we must not do..............
at 20:24 26 Oct 2019

is let all the ills of the club of which there are very many, be an excuse or a get out for the stinking rotten attitude of the players last night. They capitulated and threw the towel in plain and simple and there are absolutely no excuses for that. There are many things I disagree about my employer and even when I was faced with redundancy, I worked my socks off to the end.

At some point, these players will move on and take their money as they are doing now. We fans have to suffer this result for ever. It will never be forgotten and how many times will our noses be rubbed into it? How many times have I seen that flippin' film of when Leeds Utd took the p*ss out of us with something like 21 passes untouched? - never been forgotten.

As I have said in previous posts, there is alot rotten with the club at board and management level and even in the basic running of the club (witness the various fiasco's this summer), but when those players cross that white line, they know their jobs and for too long now, too many have not been doing it and last night they reached the bottom of their stinking barrel.
A weekend to almost forget.
at 21:59 7 Oct 2019

Back in York following my weekend down south to take in the Chelsea game.

I don't think there is anything I can say about the game that has already not been said. It was a complete and utter shambles and for me, watching from the stands, it wasn't just the farce of the first half errors, but it was the apparent lack of fight when they came out in the 2nd half. I saw nothing, absolutely nothing to suggest they were going to make any real effort or attempt to get back into the game or give the home fans some hope, something to hang onto. Even more bewildering, was the length of time it took to bring the subs on.

I don't think one single player came out of that game with much credit, say may be Ings for some effort and Romeu for not giving up and although he played his part in the errors (though no less than the others) Yoshida who you could see was desperate to the last ditch to avoid that goal. In fact, I am not sure how he has been solely blamed for it, since Prowse started the problem and Gunn (who was truly awful) was out of position in no man's land. Prowse and Hojberg were woeful in midfield. There was no urgency, no pace, no movement.

Chelsea were everything we were not - structured, organized, working as a team, committed and enjoying themselves. We make excuses about our new players needing time - we never had time in the first place, we needed them up and running and staying fit from the off. Mason Mount has adjusted quick, Timmo Pukki adjusted quick, Longstaff brothers have adjusted quick, Daniel James has adjusted quick - so why can't ours? Chelsea were on the ball quick, when they lost it, they won it back and their passes were incisive.

I honestly don't know where we go from here. The failure to deal with the defensive issue since Fonte left has been gross negligence on the part of the club, but as bad as we are at the back we seem to have almost as many problems in the other areas. An ineffective and powder puff midfield and attack. In the summer, people were saying, we may concede a lot but we should score a lot - well we are not even doing the latter when the opportunity arises.

But, I think the issues on the field are just one aspect of what is wrong with the club. As I walked to the ground with my brothers and arrived at the stadium, it was noticeable how quiet it was - we could have been going to a church without a choir. There was no anticipation, excitement or atmosphere. Sat in the stands even before the game started and as the players came out, there was virtually no singing, no atmosphere from the home fans - polite ineffective applause. It is as if, the whole St Marys has become some sanitised shadow of what the club used to be. It is like the last few years in the PL has drained it of everything that being Saints once was. The spirit of Southampton appears to have been swept away with the last outgoing tide into the Solent. Cortese was far from perfect, but he did have a vision and a idea of how or what he thought we could do or be. This crowd in charge now, have and are draining the club in everything but name - or so it feels.

I have my ticket for Wolves, but beyond that, I am not sure. Money is not earned easily. I probably will keep going because I am a hypocrite and you just hope that at some point it will change. B/stoke Saint said on a thread that he was tired of this annual on and off field issues - he echoes the feeling of many, I am sure.

I am sorry that this is such a negative post. Yesterday, I was not just disappointed with the result, I was angry and frustrated with the whole experience. I cannot help but feel that Kat Liebherr has let her Father down and more so the club, not least by selling what she had in the manner she has to an owner who simply doesn't seem to care. Rather than build on her Father's legacy, even accepting she wanted out (which I understood), it was incumbent on her to do the right thing, but on the face of it, it appears her decisions have undone it.

A slight glimmer, may be, is that RH has 2 weeks to try and resurrect something. But does he have it in him and do the players want it? Time will tell.
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